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Everyone Wants to Kill You

10 Jul

Imagine if everyone in America wanted the same thing.

Your plumber, the mail carrier, the folks next door, the girl at the coffee shop, firefighters, cops, those who worship in churches, synagogues, and mosques.  Your best friend.

The same exact thing.

Your parents, your children, your lover.

Every one of them wants only one thing.

They want to kill you.

And you, them.

But not usually at the same time, or for longer than twenty minutes, at which point they will return to their human state, temporarily.  At least until things get worse.  Much worse.  No one can tell where or when they might flip, so there is no safety.

Not anywhere or anytime.

A mother and child cannot occupy a room together without risk of murder.  Think of any routine situation in our daily lives.  That scenario is now an intensely deadly threat.  The more people present, the greater the risk.

The President of the United States, and his teams; medical geniuses, secret operatives, Navy SEALs – they are all working feverishly to eradicate the hell that has befallen us.

Oh, all of them also want to kill you, and each other, now and then.

For a young couple in love, having driven across the country for a Las Vegas wedding, their changing perceptions of bliss, honesty, greed, intolerance, and the ever-present threat of violent death, has taken them to the only place that some locals have whispered about as being “safe”; the 200 miles of drainage tunnels beneath Sin City.  One thing is certain; they won’t be alone down there.

We are all human beings.  We are not the living dead, the evil dead, or the walking dead.  We breathe, we feel, we love.  We are not, in any way, zombies.

Lately though, on occasion, we are hungry, we are angry, and we focus only on immediate feeding.  Human flesh and blood is all we crave.  We have become cannibals, in a sense, but with regard to manner and implementation, achingly worse.

You, me, and everyone we know.

We are Canni.

See why Daniel O’Connor’s writing has been praised by creative minds behind DEXTER, TRUE BLOOD, CONSTANTINE, THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE, V.C. ANDREWS, ONLY SON, and more.

From the author of SONS OF THE POPE, in paperback or for Kindle:

 

What terrifies you?

24 Apr

Dan Canni Possessed croppedDo the dead scare you?

Does the unknown?

Does anything truly TERRIFY you?

 

Let me start by stating that I am a true skeptic. About everything.

That doesn’t mean I rule anything out, though. You say you can communicate with the deceased? Cool. Prove it.

No one has. Certainly not the practitioners of clumsy televised parlor tricks.

All that being said, I will strap into a polygraph, bellow on a bench of bibles, have Dr. Phil stare into my soul, and tell you that, when I was six years-old, the faces of my deceased mother and father graced the blue Brooklyn sky above me.

Did I tell anyone at the time?  I must have, but I can’t remember.  I do remember that I sat alone, gazing up for what seemed like at least most of the length of whatever AM radio hit was filling my first-grade senses as I fed breadcrumbs to a colony of ants.  Mom and Dad didn’t communicate with me. They just studied me as I studied the ants. I feel it is important to state one thing:

I wasn’t afraid.

When I was seventeen I began reading THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. There is a section in that novel that features a swarm of houseflies. Beelzebub, you know. Lord of the Flies. Satan.

My aunt’s basement apartment had a vestibule – a small, maybe 5X5 room that sat between the door from the street and the door to the actual living quarters. I opened that first door as I arrived home from high school and was met by hundreds of houseflies. The so-many-flies-I-can’t-see-the-other-door kind. There were no insects in the apartment and we’d never had an issue with them. They just all showed up that afternoon. None outside the building, none in the apartment, hundreds in the 5X5 vestibule. No trash in there, no rotting carcass. Just the flies, same as in the book that sat in my schoolbag. I liked the ants better.

That incident was surely odd. I have no explanation for it.

But I wasn’t afraid.

That night I went to visit my two older sisters. I was going to spend the night at their place, listen to music, watch old movies, have some New York pizza.

When all of that was done we were just lounging around. It was about 2AM. We had the radio volume low as we talked about this and that. It dawned on me that I hadn’t told them about the crazy housefly incident. As I recounted the itchy episode and linked it to the book that I had brought with me to their apartment, the radio dial began to move – all on its own. We watched as it slowly slid from the station we had on to one at the far end of the dial.

Okay, I was a little afraid then.

I never finished reading THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. I did eventually see the movie. I liked the half-finished book better.

The thing about the flies and the radio: They happened. They happened to me. I have witnesses. But I can’t explain any of it.

None of the above had any life-changing effect on me, they are just (hopefully) interesting stories. The next and final experience however, probably saved my life.

I was driving home from work at about 3AM. Suburban neighborhood, no one on the streets, no traffic to speak of. Just the dead of night.

I came to an intersection about a mile from home. Stopped for a red light. No other vehicles to be seen. Quiet. Still. Just low chatter from the sports-talk radio station in my car.

Then I saw it. Her, I think. You know how so many movies portray ghosts as almost translucent beings, but often wrapped in flowing white garments? Vestments even. Damned if I didn’t see that, right on that Long Island street corner. I don’t know if she was standing or floating, but the white attire flapped ornately in a breeze that wasn’t there.

As I tried to make sense of all of this, the traffic light turned green. I should have motored on, but I remained, transfixed. Just then, out of nowhere, a loud truck came blasting across in front of me. It ran the red light. It would have surely broadsided me had I moved on my green light, as I was supposed to.

I took a deep breath and looked over for the flowing white vision on the corner.

You’ve probably guessed it. She was gone.

“No fucking way”, I thought. I drove around so I could see more of the sidewalk.

Nothing. There is no physical way she could have walked far enough in any direction to avoid my eyes in the seconds it took me to turn that corner, but she was gone. Vanished.

So, that happened. It happened to me. I can’t explain it. I can only report what I saw.

But I wasn’t afraid.

Oh, the radio in my car remained on the sports-talk station.

I got to thinking about what would truly scare me. Not just a little bit. What would TERRIFY me? Now, I had a full career as a police officer in New York. I wasn’t Dirty Harry – just a regular cop.  Even so, there were uncomfortable moments: disarming people with guns, entering buildings that were ablaze or filled with carbon monoxide, raiding full – and fully-armed – crack houses, trying to aid and comfort people who knew, as I did, that they were about to die.  Those are all unnerving situations and my heart raced some during all of them, but were they TERRIFYING?

I came to the (probably obvious) conclusion that the most terrifying situation I could come up with would be to have a loved one befallen by great catastrophe.

Imagine those you adore most.  Nothing could match the terror of true harm coming to any of them.

Unless the most barbaric, heartless atrocity to ever be unleashed defiled ALL of your loved ones simultaneously.

It made them want nothing more than to kill you.

And sometimes, you, them.

My brand new novel is called CANNI. My feeling is that the three strongest experiences we can have, and the three over which we have little to no control, are love, laughter, and terror.

My goal was to pay homage to each.

I hope I did them justice.

CANNI: Airborne on the 4th of July.

Pre-order the Kindle edition now! Paperback pre-order coming soon!

Hey, thanks.

21 Nov

You, my cyber friend, are super-smart. Congrats!

Well, at least you are probably more intelligent than the average person. I once read that people who read blogs regularly are supposed to be in the top 15% of brainiacs or something. I’ll take any positive reinforcement I can get. There is likely some study somewhere that says those who stare at tree bark all day are on the verge of wizardry, so the grain of salt has been swallowed as well.

Regardless, I thank you for stopping by this blog. As I write this, it is the season of Thanks here in the U.S.A., so I’d like to mention something for which I am quite thankful.

Naturally, I am grateful for all the usual suspects: the health and well-being of my children, the contributions of teachers, cops, firefighters, nurses, our brave military, wonderful volunteers the world over etc. I am thankful for all of that every day, as are most of us, so this Thanksgiving I also want express gratitude to some other folks who have enriched my life.

People who actually give a shit.

Now, your list might be different than mine. Doesn’t matter. There is no right or wrong answer.

Do you know when you read a book, listen to an album, or watch a movie or TV show and you just know that those involved really gave it their all? You can tell, right in your gut, that they covered all the angles, sweated the details, hashed out all the minutiae (even if they hashed it out internally – losing sleep in the process).

I want to thank all of those people for having the pride and determination to not cut corners, hurry through the process, or simply rush out product.

As your list is possibly flowing through your above-average brain and hopefully giving you some happy thoughts, here’s part of mine:

Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, the Beatles, Bob Marley, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Ben Foster, and the entire cast and crews of Dexter, Breaking Bad, and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Also, everyone involved in The Beatles’ LOVE by Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas.

There are more, but since statistics show how smart you are, you are also more likely to bore easily, and if I’m nearly as smart as you, I wouldn’t want to be the cause of that.

I would love to know if any of my list overlaps with your own.

These folks have brought me such joy over the years, and I have such confidence in their genius and work ethic, that just the thought of any of them can bring a smile to my face. Yes, most of them have had some lesser moments, but probably not from lack of effort. Perfection seems impossible to me, but the goal of it should be what drives us all.

When I was growing up in Brooklyn, I knew kids who were always under the spell, and the hoods, of their cars. I was never much good with my hands (other than in sports), but these kids – wow! For every minute I saw them actually driving their cars, there was an hour of me seeing them under them, feet protruding, then emerging smelling like pit row.

They weren’t millionaires, award-winning novelists, or musical geniuses.

They were giving it their all, busting their asses, and striving for perfection.

I thank them.

I thank the kid who stays in the batting cage after hours because, though he has almost mastered the line drive, he can’t get that bunt to hug the line.

The landscaper who angered his buddies in the truck because he went back for the ladder at the last minute to even out that misshapen palm tree?

Thank you.

Though I don’t pretend to be Richard Matheson or Ray Bradbury, I do strive to be like those Brooklyn kids under their cars, and the proud landscaper, when it comes to the stories and novels I write. I can’t guarantee that you would like them, but I can unequivocally promise that I put everything I had into them.

Here’s what both encouraged me and knocked me silly: My first full length work, a 5 decade Brooklyn suspense novel called Sons of the Pope, was published by a wonderful indie house called Blood Bound Books. It became their fastest and biggest seller ever. No, not Stephen King numbers. Probably didn’t sell what one of his does during his lunch break, but it did mean that someone liked it. My hard work had paid off – not in dollars – but in the fact that I brought people – complete strangers – enjoyment!

Here’s where I nearly hit the tiles: Some of the folks who praised my book include writers and directors behind Dexter (yes, one of the shows mentioned above as my idea of brilliance), True Blood, the V.C. Andrews novels, Nurse Jackie, Sleepy Hollow, the Donovan Creed novels, Rectify, Red Widow, Unspeakable, Terrified, Only Son, Sister Sister, and The Devil’s Advocate. I even got a 5 star review from Rock Over America! To a frustrated musician like me, who can’t play a lick, having a music magazine review a book was more than I could ask for.

A man who has sold over 100 million novels, Andrew Neiderman, said, in writing, that my career was one to watch.

Whaaaaaat?

John Locke, who was the first author to sell over one million self-published e-books, actually ran an online contest for his readers to win copies of Sons of the Pope. My book!

Double Whaaaaaat?

Me – a kid from Brooklyn, who had lost both parents by the time he was seven years old, and all grandparents by the time he was eleven – had somehow, in some odd quest for that perfection we can never grasp, managed to receive kudos from some of the most talented people in the world.

Dean Koontz – Dean Freaking Koontz – recently sent me a note saying he was going to be reading my short story, The Binding, from the anthology, Blood Rites, because an Amazon review compared it to his writing.

No matter what happens from here on out, I will always have that note. For that, I am thankful.

To you, the reader of this (probably overly long) blog post, I am just as thankful. You could have been doing any number of things, from reading one of those books from the cast of Jersey Shore, to working on a cure for Arachibutyrophobia* (if you don’t have to Google that, you’ve just joined the Beatles and Alfred Hitchcock on my Awe List).

So then, I am thankful to you, dear blog reader. I am thankful for anyone who bought, borrowed or read any of my books or stories. I am thankful to those well-respected creative types who’ve had kind words for my work, and I am thankful to those, on my list and yours, who really, really care about the work they do.

If you celebrate it, please have a wonderful and HAPPY THANKSGIVING! If you don’t, just have a joyous and uplifting NEXT THURSDAY!

* Arachibutyrophobia – Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one’s mouth.

Books, albums, and DVD/Blu-rays have always been my favorite holiday gifts.

My AMAZON author page: http://www.amazon.com/Daniel-OConnor/e/B00B7N4USM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3?qid=1359501792&sr=8-3

http://www.amazon.com/Sons-of-the-Pope-ebook/dp/B00ALI11WM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1377620004

Amazon 4.9 stars
Goodreads 4.4 stars

Moon Watcher (a true story)

23 Jul

At night, in the desert, you’re always being watched.

I can hear them in the brush, scurrying – stopping dead as I near. Rabbits, lizards, snakes, maybe a coyote. God knows what else. Birds, bats – we’re watched from above as well.

Joni Mitchell once released an album called “The Hissing of Summer Lawns”. I thought about that last night as I stepped out the front door around midnight, a bag of trash in my hand, headed for the curbside. I found myself listening for the hiss of the lawn because there were no other sounds. The breeze that normally rippled through the trees was quite absent. There was no scurrying in the brush. Not even a single cricket. There were only my footsteps, tapping the concrete and echoing down the street – maybe even to the mountains, and that slight rattle and crinkle of the Hefty bag. Like all the random junk inside was jockeying for position before its final ride.

Then I noticed the sky. It was beautiful. Just a few big fluffy clouds floating in the glow of a perfect full moon. I knew I’d be rushing in to tell the wife and kids. There’d been a sadness in the house all day and I thought they all might get a kick out of the striking night sky. Smile and laugh they all did. Their giggles headed to the mountains to find their dad’s echoing footsteps. The iPhones were out, snapping pictures of the big ol’ moon.

We were still grinning as we returned to the living room. The girls raced to post their photos on the internet. The smiles were wide until I happened to notice something in the bottom left corner of one of the photos. What exactly is that?

At night, in the desert, you’re always being watched.
a a a a a a scary pic

My Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Daniel-OConnor/e/B00B7N4USM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3?qid=1359501792&sr=8-3

http://www.amazon.com/Sons-of-the-Pope-ebook/dp/B00ALI11WM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1377620004

http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Rites-Invitation-Horror-ebook/dp/B00B6DHGIE/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377622477&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Serial-Killers-Iterum-ebook/dp/B00CA3JRJU/ref=sr_1_3_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377622522&sr=1-3

Between Catskill and Cooperstown

10 Oct
There is a timeless, peaceful beauty nestled amongst the evergreens of upstate New York.
The scent of the pines, the hypnotic tapping of the Sapsucker, the song of the Eastern Bluebird.
Then there’s the cabin.
Interesting fact about the female bluebird – she sings when a predator looms.


“Between Catskill and Cooperstown” can be found in the horror anthology SERIAL KILLERS ITERUM.
http://www.amazon.com/Serial-Killers-Iterum-ebook/dp/B00CA3JRJU/ref=sr_1_3_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377619200&sr=1-3

More of my writing:
http://www.amazon.com/Sons-of-the-Pope-ebook/dp/B00ALI11WM/ref=sr_1_2_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377619411&sr=1-2

http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Rites-An-Invitation-Horror/dp/0984978275/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1377619447&sr=1-1

The Binding

6 Jun

Four guys meet every Thursday night at a little bar just off a desert road.

They’ve been coming for four years, watching some football, playing a little darts.

This Thursday, the fate of the entire human race rests in their hands.

They also enjoy the jukebox.

THE BINDING will be released in January, 2013 as part of a horror anthology called BLOOD RITES. I hope you will look for it, and for my novel, SONS OF THE POPE, due this December!

http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Rites-Invitation-Horror-ebook/dp/B00B6DHGIE/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377618359&sr=1-1&keywords=blood+rites+an+invitation

http://www.amazon.com/Sons-of-the-Pope-ebook/dp/B00ALI11WM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1377620004